Because I am a lousy Christian. And so are you. You know your heart and your mind. The thoughts that intrude or secret desires that shock. I know that sounds harsh but it’s a reality we must accept. God, for some reason, has decided not to completely sanctify us on this side of heaven. And when we look to ourselves for approval or rightousness, we see how much we fall short.
Am I a failure as a Christian?
I look in the mirror every day and I see a failure. A Christian who should be ashamed. A pastor’s wife who is an imposter!
If my thoughts were ever projected for the world to see I would want to die. That is not an exaggeration. Anger rears its angry head and fills me with the desire to lash out like a cobra. Past hurts or traumas push their way back into my thoughts and I can feel the poison dripping from my teeth, looking to bite in revenge.
Sexual desires or violent thoughts waltz into my brain like a show. Even suicidal thoughts cartwheel across my mind. I have lost count at the number of times a tree has looked inviting on my long drive home. Suicidal ideation is a monthly occurrence with me.
Do these thoughts make me a failure as a Christian?
Am I a disappointment to God?
I truly feel I disappoint God. That perhaps He made a mistake making me a pastor’s wife. He knows my thoughts after all.
Often weeks will go by when I do not open my Bible. Isn’t that a cardinal sin?! Some days I don’t even stop to say hello to Him in prayer. My mind is often to busy worrying about myself.
I often feel like I am drowning in the expectations of me as a Christian. Even more so as a pastor’s wife. My desire is to see people flourish in their walk with the Lord. To bask in His love and feel closer to Him every day. That’s the whole reason I started this blog! How disappointing when I sometimes can’t even do that for myself.
So how do I know I am really a Christian?
Having faith in Christ is how we know we are true Christians. But when I look in the mirror and I see a lousy Christian that is a failure and disappointment to God, it still makes me doubt my salvation.
The problem is, I am judging myself by who I see looking back at me from the mirror.
I need to remind myself that God is not looking at my reflection when he sees me. God is looking at a reflection of His son when he looks at me. That’s what my faith in Christ gives me. The rightenouse of Jesus Christ that is big enough to cover my sin and my shame.
The moment I take my eyes off of Jesus and put them back on myself, I see “the wretched man that I am” (Romans 7:24). Self doubt creeps in and I feel unlovable. Looking at myself makes it hard to truly believe the promise of God’s word in Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
This is yet another reason we must remind ourselves of the gospel daily. To keep our eyes on Christ to see the rightenous He gives us, and not be blinded by our shortcomings. We must remember that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Rest In Christ
Resting in Christ means to take peace and comfort in what Christ has accomplished for us. He obeyed unto death because we never can. His blood covers our sins because we can’t not atone for ourselves. We can never produce anything for ourselves to offer as saving sacrfirice at the pearly gates. When we keep our eyes on Christ, it keeps them off of ourselves.
But resting in Christ does not mean we do not battle sin. We have to wrestle with tempations and sinful desires for the rest of our lives. We must not delude ourselves into believing we can sit back, relax and not put any work in. You get your strenght from the Holy Spirit. You get knowledge about God from His word. You fall deeper in love with God the more you talk to Him.
Look at moments of weak faith as a challenge to overcome!